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We're bringing bath time back. 🛀🏻
We could all agree that there's nothing more restorative than a luxurious, bubbly soak in the bath. The only problem is that our tubs aren't always in the most welcoming shape. Because let's be honest, soap scum, mildew, and dirty grout stains don't create the most relaxing environment to kick back and unwind in.
Even though it's a cleaning task most don't do nearly as often as they should, tubs should be spiffed up with an effective bathtub cleaner on a regular basis. Luckily, we searched high and low to find the best bathtub cleaners to make your bathtub cleaning routine as easy as possible — but not all cleaners are created equal, and they don't all do the same thing. We're breaking down everything you need to know about cleaning your bathtub and how to keep it in a constant state of sparkling clean.
The Best Bathtub Cleaners
- Best Bleach-Based Cleaner: Clorox Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover
- Best Long-Lasting Sanitizer: Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner and Sanitizing Spray
- Best All-Purpose Cleaner: Mr. Clean Clean Freak Deep Cleaning Mist
- Best Cleaning Set: The Pink Stuff Cleaner Bundle
- Best Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Cleaner: Lysol with Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaner
- Best Cleaning Concentrate: Blueland Bathroom Starter Set
- Best Stain Remover: Bar Keepers Friend Liquid Cleanser
The Right Way to Clean Your Tub
To tackle this dirty job, we asked Briana Short, the president of Caliber Cleaning, a Washington-based home cleaning service with 14 years of experience in cleaning homes (and bathtubs specifically), for a few pro tips. She says, “The best way to thoroughly clean your bathtub is to first spray the tub with an all-purpose cleaner. If you have soap scum build-up — check this by running your hand along tub walls while dry — use a powdered nonabrasive cleanser to scrub the tub.”
But if you're looking to give your tub a truly thorough cleaning, there are a few more steps to take. Short says to “turn on the water to rinse the product down the drain and use a dry microfiber cloth to dry the tub to prevent watermarks. Once this is done, use a microfiber cloth with one or two sprays of cleaner and polish your fixtures.”
Short recommends that this kind of deep clean be done every 2 weeks. If you’re pressed for time, a quick spray and wipe-down once a week can help prevent buildup and stubborn stains from forming.
What to Consider
It's important to keep in mind that depending on the products you use, you may be cleaning your tub but not disinfecting it (yes, you read that right!) Products that contain bleach, isopropyl alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide can kill germs and mold, while other soaps and surfactants may remove stain-causing grime and germs from the surface but not kill them. Vinegar has antibacterial properties, too, and it can kill some (but not all) common household molds.
Without a doubt, chemical-based cleaners (particularly those with bleach) are going to clean your bathroom more thoroughly, but they may be difficult for people with sensitivity to their indoor air quality to use on a regular basis. Gentler all-purpose cleaners can be used for lighter, weekly bathroom cleaning to keep the tiles and floor free of visible grime and build-up, but chemical cleaners should be used for deeper cleans. If you clean with bleach, remember to do it safely by keeping your area well-ventilated, wearing hand and face protection, and never mixing it with other cleaning chemicals.
Our guide to the best bathtub cleaners covers products with a range of potencies, so you can get your desired level of cleanliness every time. Read on to learn more.
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Best Bleach-Based Cleaner
Clorox Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover
• Set of two
For the quickest, surest clean, the Clorox Plus Tilex Mold & Mildew Remover is one of the best bathtub cleaners with bleach you can find. While this product has a very strong smell, it works as an effective deep cleaner — exactly as it should.
You may not be able to loosen tough soap scum and grime in just one wipe, but its bleach assures you that the harmful bacteria and germs are eradicated on your surfaces.
More: Everything You Need for an Organized Home
Best Long-Lasting Sanitizer
Microban 24 Bathroom Cleaner and Sanitizing Spray
Microban 24 is a sanitizing and disinfecting bathtub cleaner that kills up to 99.9% of bacteria and keeps surfaces bacteria-free for up to 24 hours. Its formula forms a bacteria-fighting layer that binds to a sprayed-down surface when it is left to dry completely.
It’s a potent cleaner, though it may still take a little effort to scrub into your grout (it isn't a stain remover). Its smell is citrusy but not overwhelming — the kind of cleaning scent that lasts for a shower or two.
Best All-Purpose Cleaner
Mr. Clean Clean Freak Deep Cleaning Mist
• Set of three
It's convenient that Mr. Clean's Clean Freak Deep Cleaning Mist comes in a set because you can use them in other areas of the house! It contains cleaning surfactants, so it doesn't disinfect, but it'll lift grime and messes from the surface.
Its nozzle releases a spray of solution over a large surface area to cover your tub, shower walls, and fixtures without any effort. Reviewers are obsessed with using this bathtub cleaner and say that it leaves their space looking (and smelling) better in a short time without needing to scrub away at problem areas.
Best Cleaning Set
The Pink Stuff Cleaner Bundle
• Includes Cleaning Paste and Foam Cleaner
TikTokers already know all about The Pink Stuff Cleaning Paste — its hashtag has over 222 million views alone! The Pink Stuff Paste is an abrasive cleaning agent that contains baking soda, quartz, and soap. It's best for scrubbing out tough grime (preferably with a Scrub Daddy sponge) without the need to pull out the bleach or potent cleaners.
Users love cleaning their ovens, sinks, cookware, and bathtubs with the Paste, but if you prefer using something gentler in your bathroom, the Miracle Bathroom Foam Cleaner in this set is the better product for that.
The Foam Cleaner is a liquid, non-abrasive version of the Paste, working on all tub materials, tile, and grout to get watermarks, soap scum, and mold out of your bathroom. Reviewers also say that unlike the Paste, which has no smell, the Cleaner has a pleasant, “fruity” scent.
Best Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Cleaner
Lysol with Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaner
Now 18% off
• Set of two
This bathtub cleaner from Lysol is powered by hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach, making it a gentler but no less effective sanitizer. It may not work as well on tricky stains (so prepare to apply some elbow grease), but it's a good one to reach for when it's time to deep clean.
Unfortunately, it has a strong “chemically citrus smell” that reviewers with scent sensitivities don’t like. Make sure you rinse thoroughly after using this to help dissipate the smell.
Best Cleaning Concentrate
Blueland Bathroom Starter Set
• Includes bottle and three cleaning tablets
Blueland's bathtub cleaner is great for weekly spiff-ups, and you'll get lots of mileage out of this set. All of their cleaning kits, which cover the entire home, come with durable acrylic bottles and dissolvable, concentrated cleaning tablets that users mix up with water from their own sink.
It'll help get your tiles and stainless steel fixtures shiny, but it's important to note that this bathtub cleaner is not meant to disinfect or kill mold.
Best Stain Remover
Bar Keepers Friend
Bar Keepers Friend Liquid Cleanser
Bar Keepers Friend is an oxalic-acid-based cleaning solution that is bleach-free, chlorine-free, and also biodegradable. It doesn't disinfect, but it is a very effective stain remover, and it's great to use on built-up hard water stains, soap scum, and any discoloration in your tub caused by hair dye.
It’s also versatile enough to use on a variety of surfaces like stainless steel, glass, ceramic, and stovetops, making it appeal to those who like to use the same product in multiple areas of the home.
Though you should wear protective gloves when cleaning with this acidic solution (and never let it sit for too long), it doesn't have a strong smell, and there's no scrubbing involved to see results.
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